Monday, August 23, 2010

The same but different

Seeing as several of my readers have mentioned that they cannot tell the girls apart, I thought I would write out the physical differences between my three munchkins. I'm not sure if it will help any of you though because there aren't too many major noticeable differences.

Head/Face Shape

Anna's skull formed differently due to the fluid build-up in her brain while she was developing in utero. Her face has more of an oval shape. She also has a small bump on the top/side of her head from her shunt. Now that her hair has grown in, you can't see it at all but you can feel it.

If I wake up in the middle of the night to find a preschooler standing next to my bed and I can't remember who wore what that night for pajamas or if two or three of them wore the same thing, I always touch that area of her head to feel for the bump. If no bump, I know it's not Anna.


The girls have the same exact hair color and almost the same texture. Em's hair tends to be a bit more curly/wavy than Allie's. Anna has less hair and I think this is why it doesn't appear to be as curly/wavy.

Anna now has a few bangs.

Facial Features

I think that Anna and Allie look more alike, facially speaking, than Emily. It's kind of hard to describe but the bridge of Em's nose near her eyes is deeper and her eyes are not as round looking. Em's upper lip also looks a bit different. Like there is more of a curve from her nose to her upper lip.

The girls have the exact same teeth. Anna's are more crowded, especially on the bottom.

Body Shape

The girls have always weighed within two pounds of each other and have always measured within an inch of each other in height.

Anna's body is shaped differently because her muscle development. Most noticeably, her calves are bit on the small/thin side.

Allie and Em have the same size feet for shoes but Allie's feet are bigger on the top. Anna's feet are a size smaller, which we believe is a result of having spina bifida. Her feet are extremely narrow, which makes finding shoes that fit properly a bit difficult.

Even with Em and Allie weighing almost exactly the same, Allie looks a bit wider. Like her midsection and legs look bigger (and not in a bad way). And believe me, I'm sure this is something that you would only pick up on if you see them all the time.


Allie is the only one who has birthmarks. There is a very small one on her left jaw, a noticeable one on her midsection and a bigger one on her right shin.

Em has a freckle on the bottom of one her big toes.


If you look at the pictures again from this past week or so of the girls running, you will see that Anna holds her arms out instead of keeping them down next to her body. I don't know if this is for balance or to help her run or a combination of both.

Other Stuff

When we brought Emily and Allie home from the hospital, Grammy was so nervous that we would mix them up. We left their hospital ID bracelets on their ankles for as long as possible. After that, Grammy tied a pink ribbon around Em's ankle. It kept falling off. I was never concerned with mixing them up because, to me, they looked very different. The freckle on the bottom of Em's toe finally convinced everyone that we wouldn't confuse their true identities.

Someone left a comment asking about Anna's shoes. Both Emily and Anna have a pair of those "running" sneakers. I purchased them on clearance for about $5 each. This summer, we have allowed the girls to wear whatever shoes they want, within reason. For example, they can't wear nice shoes to play in the dirt or cowboy boots when it is 90 degrees out.

Anna doesn't need any braces or special shoes to walk. I think her feet do bother her sometimes and now she is able to tell us when she is more comfortable wearing her sneakers.

Okay, so here's a picture (get over the blown out white of their clothes) where the girls look nothing alike.


Yes, I am being sarcastic.

So now you should all be able tell who is who in pictures. Right?


Pyjammy Pam said...

Okay. My guess is:

Allie - Anna - Em

This was a v useful post! I should do one too one day. :D

Colleen said...

This is really fascinating to me! When I look at pics of twins, I can usually pick out which one has SB by the head shape, even if it's just slight, but I really can't tell with Anna's. One thing is for sure--they're all cute as a button!

Julia said...

I guessed like Pam, based on the hair.

Love that post! I wrote one like that too, though my girls seem much more different from each other than yours (I think! hehe). Their face shape is remarkably different, I guess because they were in 69 position in utero. Isabel has an inward chin that makes her cheeks look wider and doubles her chin, too. Aside from that, I cannot tell any difference from behind now that they weigh practically the same. If they are wearing the same jammies at night and switch places in bed, there is no way I can tell.

Twins' proud godmother said...

Most of the tima I can tell appart Anna from her sisters but I think it's more difficult with Allie & Em.

When they were younger Allie had more hair than Em, but now it's really difficult to tell !

Hope's Mama said...

I still have no idea, sorry!!

Just Kristen said...

LOL....I scaned the picture a few times, thinking "ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!" before I saw the sarcastic comment :)
And I have identical twin I KNOW exactly what you mean. the differences are subtle, but it is like a magic eye puzzle...once you see it, it is impossible not to see it.

Anonymous said...

Allie, Anna & Em

I've only been reading your blog for a few months now but to tell the girls apart I honestly look at there shoes. Allie is almost always wearing her purple sandles, Anna her white & Em her pink.

But as I looked through some of your pictures I can see what you mean about there hair. Anna's looks very thin and almost straight. Em's very curly and thick and Allie's is inbetween.

Tracey's Life said...

Ok based on the description that you gave of the hair I would guess Allie, Anna, Em.

They still all look so much alike to me, but I guess as their Mama you can see the subtle differences. Still all cute as a button tho.

Jamie said...

Great post! I needed this over the weekend though, lol.

I think Pam has it right-

Anonymous said...

Amazing! They're even squinting at the light in the same way. Beautiful girls; beautiful photographs.